The Turn to “Tween”: An Age Category and its Cultural Consequences
Thursday, October 20, 2016
University of Pittsburgh assistant English professor Tyler Bickford and Northeastern University Communication Studies professor Meryl Alper explored the culture and impact of the "tween" age group. MIT associate professor of literature Marah Gubar moderated.
abstract | video | audio | summary

Time Traveling with James Gleick
Monday, October 17, 2016
International best-selling author and science historian James Gleick discussed his career, the state of science journalism, and his newest book Time Travel: A History, which delves into the evolution of time travel in literature and science and the thin line between pulp fiction and modern physics.
abstract | video | audio | summary

Being Muslim in America (and MIT) in 2016
Thursday, April 7, 2016
Last December, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump called for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States. In March, he added that “I think Islam hates us.” Wise Systems co-founder Layla Shaikley and Hisham Bedri, both MIT alum, joined engineering masters student Abubakar Abid to explore how this type of hateful, discriminatory rhetoric influences public opinion, discuss its impact on the daily lives of Muslim-Americans, and examine strategies for combating it. Moderated by MIT's Seth Mnookin.
abstract | video | audio | summary

Excellence in Teaching
Thursday, March 3, 2016
What separates a good teacher from a great one? How are digital technologies challenging traditional teaching methods? And are there distinctions between top-notch science instructors and their counterparts in humanities or social science? Former poet laureate Robert Pinsky, Weisskopf Professor of Physics Alan Guth and MIT biology professor Hazel Sive—all honored teachers—explored these issues with Literature professor and Communications Forum director emeritus David Thorburn.
abstract | video | audio | summary

Is There a Future for In-Depth Science Journalism?
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Traditional media outlets have been facing budget cuts and layoffs for years, with specialized reporters often among the first to go. And yet last year, Boston Globe Media Partners made a significant investment in launching STAT, a new publication that focuses on health, medicine and scientific discovery. STAT executive editor Rick Berke, national correspondent Carl Zimmer, and reporter Rebecca Robbins discussed the publication’s progress and how the field of science journalism is changing. Moderated by MIT's Seth Mnookin.
abstract | video | audio | summary

Women in Politics: Representation and Reality
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Women are chronically underrepresented in U.S. politics. Yet TV shows, fictions, and films have leapt ahead of the electoral curve to give us our first female president(s). What messages about women and power do these fictional representations of female politicians send? What connections (if any) can we draw between representation and reality? What challenges do real-life women politicians face as they represent themselves to voters and to the press? Mary Anne Marsh, a political consultant at Dewey Square Group, and Ellen Emerson White, author of the President's Daughterseries discussed the intricacies of women in and running for office. Moderated by MIT's Marah Gubar.
abstract | video | audio | summary

From the Neolithic Era to the Apocalypse: How to Prepare for the Future by Studying the Past
Thursday, October 8, 2015
For thousands of years, humans have experienced cycles of empire building and retreat, from the neolithic settlers of Levant and the Indus Valley to the ancient Cahokia and Maya civilizations. What can new discoveries teach us about how to plan our next thousand years as a global civilization? New York Times best-selling author, Charles C. Mann, and Gizmodo Editor-in-Chief Annalee Newitz discussed how ancient civilizations shed light on current problems with urbanization, food security, and environmental change. Moderated by MIT's Thomas Levenson.
abstract | video | audio | summary

Jim Crow and the Legacy of Segregation Outside of the South
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Melissa Nobles, Kenan Sahin Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at MIT joined Tracey Meares, Walter Hale Hamilton Professor of Law at Yale Law School for a panel focused on historical forces that led to current issues of segregation, police brutality and mass incarceration. Nobles discussed her work with the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Clinic at Northeastern Law School and Meares talked about her work on President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Moderated by MIT's Seth Mnookin.
abstract | video | audio | summary

The Spooky Science of the Southern Reach - An Evening with Jeff VanderMeer
Thursday, Apr. 16, 2015
Jeff VanderMeer, author of the New York Times bestselling Southern Reach Trilogy (Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance), joined G. Eric Schaller, Professor of Biological Sciences at Dartmouth, for a broad-ranging discussion about the scientific and philosophical ideas that inspired the series. The two friends and occasional collaborators discussed conservation science, VanderMeer's relationship with the natural world, and the theme of extinction in "slow apocalypse" fiction, as well as the role of real-world science in science fiction. Moderator: Seth Mnookin.
abstract | video | audio | summary

Coming of Age in Dystopia: The Darkness of Young Adult Fiction
Thursday, Mar. 19, 2015
Why are brutal dystopias, devastating apocalyptic visions, and tales of personal trauma such a staple of young adult literature? Kristin Cashore, author of the award-winning Graceling Realm trilogy, and the University of Florida's Kenneth Kidd explored the history and current preoccupations of one of the most popular forms of fiction today. Moderated by MIT's Marah Gubar.
abstract | video | audio | summary

Women in Science: A Panel Discussion
Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015
The achievements of women in science have often been overlooked or ignored. Today, a new generation of female scientists is making clear just how different the future will be. Harvard's Pardis Sabeti, a computational geneticist who investigates the evolution of disease, and MIT's Jessika Trancik, whose research focuses on the performance and environmental impact of energy technology, will discuss their backgrounds, career paths, and what they see as challenges and opportunities moving forward. Moderator: MIT's Rosalind Williams.
abstract | video | audio | summary

Making Computing Strange: Cultural Analytics and Phantasmal Media
Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014
Lev Manovich, the author of the seminal The Language of New Media; MIT's Fox Harrell, who recently published Phantasmal Media: An Approach to Imagination, Computation, and Expression; and MIT's Nick Montfort will examine the ways in which computational models can be used in cultural contexts for everything from analyzing media to imagining new ways to represent ourselves.
abstract | video | audio | summary

Ultimate Truths: Comparing Science and the Humanities
Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014
This Communications Forum special event will explore the differences and similarities in the kinds of knowledge available through inquiry in the sciences and humanities, and the ways that knowledge is obtained. The panelists will be historian, novelist, and columnist James Carroll; philosopher and novelist Rebecca Goldstein; author and physicist Alan Lightman; and biologist Robert Weinberg. Seth Mnookin, Associate Director of the Forum, will moderate.
abstract | video | audio | summary

Documentaries, Journalism, and the Future of Reality-Based Storytelling
Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014
The documentary is undergoing a period of upheaval and innovation. FRONTLINE deputy executive producer Raney Aronson, documentary director Katerina Cizek, New York Times Op-Docs editor Jason Spingarn-Koff, and Guardian multimedia editor Francesca Panetta will discuss how new forms of documentary can both re-invigorate journalism and reach new audiences.
abstract | video | podcast | summary

Online Annotation and the Future of Reading
Thursday, Apr. 24, 2014
Using the tools of online textual annotation-- the platform Rap Genius, its spinoff site Poetry Genius, or MIT's own Annotation Studio-- readers can collaborate on annotating or interpreting a work, make their annotations public, and respond to interpretations by others. Creators, facilitators, and users of these sites joined moderator Noel Jackson to discuss how online annotation is changing practices of reading, enriching practices of teaching and learning, and making newly public a previously private encounter with the written word.
abstract | video | podcast | summary

Science in Fiction
Thursday, Apr. 3, 2014
Hanya Yanagihara's first book, the widely celebrated The People In The Trees, is loosely based on the life and work of Nobel Prize-winner physician and researcher D. Carleton Gajdusek. She joined author and physicist Alan Lightman, the first professor at MIT to receive a joint appointment in the sciences and the humanities, to discuss the unique challenges of respecting the exacting standards of science in fictional texts.
abstract | video | podcast | summary

Jenkins Returns
Thursday, Mar. 6, 2014
Legendary former MIT professor and housemaster Henry Jenkins, now at the University of Southern California, returns to the Forum for a conversation about his time at the Institute and the founding of CMS as well as his path-breaking scholarship on contemporary media.
abstract | video | podcast | summary

Long-Form Journalism: Behind the Scenes at The Atlantic
Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013
James Fallows and Corby Kummer of The Atlantic chart the journey of a major feature story from conception to publication and speculate about the future of long-form journalism in the digital age.
abstract | video | podcast | summary

Born Digital
Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013
John Palfrey and Ethan Zuckerman on how educators approach this generation to help prepare them for scholarship and for citizenship.
abstract | video | podcast | summary

The Phoenix Burns Out: Remembering a Boston Institution
Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013
Boston writers discuss the era of the alt-weeklies and the legacy of The Boston Phoenix.
abstract | video | podcast | summary

News or Entertainment? The Press in Modern Political Campaigns
Thursday, Aprill 11, 2013
Is our political journalism serving democratic and civic ideals?
abstract | speakers | video | podcast | audiostream | summary

MOOCs and the Emerging Digital Classroom

Thursday, March 21, 2013
What elements of teaching practice can be effectively translated into new media, and what aspects of “teaching” must be redefined?
abstract | speakers | video | summary

A Conversation with Nate Silver
Thursday, Feb. 29, 2013
Analyst Nate Silver, author of The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail--But Some Don't, discusses his career with Seth Mnookin, co-director of MIT's Graduate Program in Science Writing.
abstract | video | podcast | audiostream | summary

Convergence Journalism? Emerging Documentary and Multimedia Forms of News
Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013
Hybrid forms of multimedia are a notable feature of today's online journalism.
abstract | speakers | podcast | audiostream | summary

New Media in West Africa
Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012
Despite many infrastructural and economic hurdles, entertainment media industries are burgeoning in West Africa.
abstract | speakers | video | podcast | summary

Digitizing the Culture of Print: The Digital Public Library and Other Urgent Projects
Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012
What urgent initiatives are underway to assure universal access to our print inheritance and to the digital communication forms of the future?
abstract | speakers | video | podcast | summary

Linda Gregerson: 'Why I Write Poems'
Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012
Gregerson, Caroline Walker Bynum Distinguished University Professor of English Language
and Literature
at the University of Michigan, discusses her work and career.

abstract | speakers | video | podcast | audiostream | summary

The Brain's Politics: How Campaigns Are Framed and Why
Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012
A conversation with linguist George Lakoff.
abstract | speakers | video | podcast | audiostream | summary

Electronic Literature and Future Books
Friday, May 4, 2012
Concludes a day-long symposium on the future of the book (

abstract | speakers | summary | audiocast | video

Adapting Journalism to the Web
Thursday, April 5, 2012
New communications technologies are revolutionizing our experience of news and information.
abstract | speakers | summary | audiocast | podcast | video

Documentary Filmmaking and New Technologies
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
New ways to create and even to reconceptualize the documentary film.
abstract | speakers | summary | audiocast | podcast | video

The Future of the Post Office
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Postal service in the digital age.
abstract | speakers | summary | audiocast | podcast | video

Cities and the Future of Entertainment
Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011
Launches Futures of Entertainment 5 conference.
abstract | speakers | audiocast | podcast | video

Surveillance and Citizenship
Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011
The ubiquity of surveillance in our digitizing world.
abstract | summary | audiocast | podcast | video

Local News in the Digital Age
Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011
Is local news a casualty of the digital age?
abstract and speakers | summary | video | podcast

A Conversation with Sherry Turkle
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The eminent professor on her MIT career and evolving views of technology.
abstract | speakers | audiocast | podcast | video

Online News: Public Sphere or Echo Chamber?
Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011
Journalism and digital culture.
abstract | speakers | audiocast | podcast | video

Communications in Slow-Moving Crises
Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010
The unique challenges of reporting on complex problems.
abstract | speakers | summary | audiocast | podcast | video

Civic Media and the Law
Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010
Legal perils and protections for citizen journalists.
abstract | speakers | summary | audiocast | podcast | video

Humanities in the Digital Age
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
A status report on the liberal arts.
abstract | speakers | summary | audiocast | podcast | video

Online Migration of Newspapers
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Journalism in transition.
abstract and speakers | summary | podcast | video

Special Event: Graphical Expressions of Humanistic Interpretation in Digital Environments
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Launches the inaugural Visual Interpretations conference at MIT.
abstract | speakers

Jenkins' Farewell
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Henry Jenkins reflects on 20 years at MIT.
abstract and speakers | summary | audiocast | podcast | video

Civics in Difficult Places
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Journalism in contentious geographic areas.
abstract and speakers | summary | mit news office story | audiocast | podcast | video

The Gutenberg Parenthesis
Thursday, April 1, 2010
The relationshsip between oral tradition and digital culture.
abstract and speakers | summary | nieman journalism lab report | audiocast | podcast | video

Government Transparency and Collaborative Journalism
Thursday, March 18, 2010
New government, public and private initiatives for gathering the news.
abstract and speakers | summary | audiocast | podcast | video

Special Event: The Future of Civic Engagement in a Broadband-Enabled World
Monday, March 1, 2010
A preview of the government's national broadband plan.
program | keynote video (Eugene Huang, FCC) | government-citizen engagement panel video |
future of digital public media panel video

The Culture Beat and New Media
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Arts journalism in the internet era.
abstract and speakers | summary | audiocast | podcast | video

What's New at the Center for Future Civic Media?
Thursday, November 5, 2009
The latest projects from the Center.
abstract | presentations | summary | audiocast | video

Race, Politics and American Media

Thursday, October 8, 2009
How are race issues and racial politics covered in the news?
abstract and speakers | summary | audiocast | podcast | video

Global Media
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Media circulation in an age of increasing global connectivity (launches MiT6)

abstract and speakers | summary | podcast | video

Film Music and Digital Media
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Digital recording technology and Hollywood.
abstract and speakers | summary | podcast | video

Politics and Popular Culture
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Are we seeing a blurring of the roles of citizen and consumer?
abstract | speakers | summary | podcast | video

The Campaign and the Media, 2
Thursday, November 13, 2008
The impact of new media on the election.
abstract | speakers | summary | podcast | video

Books and Libraries in the Digital Age
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Robert Darnton discusses the history of the book.
abstract | speakers | summary | podcast | video

Literature/ History/ Biography
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Stephen Greenblatt on the transformation of literary study.
abstract | speakers | summary | podcast

The Campaign and the Media, 1
Thursday, September 25, 2008
A report card on media coverage of the presidential election.
abstract | speakers | summary | video

Youth and Civic Engagement
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Has unprecedented access to information changed young people's understanding of democracy?
abstract | speakers | summary | podcast | video

Our World Digitized: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Visionary and skeptical perspectives on the promise and perils of
the Internet era.
abstract | speakers | summary | podcast | video

Global Television
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Have programs aimed at global audiences begun to replace traditional forms of national television?
abstract | speakers | summary | podcast | video

Prime Time in Transition
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Writer-producers on the history and current direction of series television.
abstract | speaker | summary | podcast | video

NBC's Heroes: From Appointment TV to Engagement TV
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Television shows using new media to reach and create new audiences.
abstract | speakers | summary | podcast | video

Games and Civic Engagement
Thursday, November 8, 2007
The relationship between computer games and citizenship.
abstract | speakers | summary | podcast | video

Collective Intelligence
Thursday, October 4, 2007
The wisdom and limitations of aggregated brains.
abstract | speakers | summary | podcast | video

What Is Civic Media?
Thursday, September 20, 2007
The relationship between emerging media and civic engagement as part of the launch of MIT's Center for Future Civic Media.
abstract | speakers | summary | podcast | video

Evangelicals and the Media
Thursday, April 5, 2007
The social and political impact of the Evangelical movement's use of media technologies.
abstract | speakers | summary | podcast | video

What's New at the Media Lab?
Thursday, March 1, 2007
New Media Lab Director Frank Moss shares some of the ongoing projects and new digital applications currently in development.
abstract | speakers | summary | podcast | video

Remixing Shakespeare
Thursday, February 15, 2007
MIT scholars examine contemporary and historical examples of appropriating The Bard's work.
abstract | speakers | summary | podcast | video

The Craft of Science Fiction
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Readings and conversation with four-time Nebula Award winner Joe Haldeman.
abstract | summary | podcast | video

Why Newspapers Matter
Thursday, October 5, 2006
The state of journalism in relation to the ongoing transformation and apparent decline of American newspapers.
abstract | speakers | summary | podcast | video

News, Information and the Wealth of Networks
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Yochai Benkler (The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom) and Henry Jenkins (Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Intersect) examine networked culture.
abstract | speakers | summary | podcast | video

The Emergence of Citizens' Media
Tuesday [note day], September 19, 2006
How widespread access to media impacts news and newspapers.
abstract | speakers | summary | podcast | video

TV's Great Writer
Thursday, April 20, 2006
David Milch (Deadwood, Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue) gives a frank account of his life and work.
abstract | summary | video

TV News in Transition
Thursday, April 6, 2006
Television journalists discuss changes in TV news in a world of proliferating channels and online information.
abstract | speakers | summary | video

TV's New Economics
Wednesday, March 8, 2006
A look at the changing economic base of American television.
abstract | speakers | summary | video

A Conversation with former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky
Thursday, February 23, 2006
A wide-ranging conversation with the author of The Life of David, an account of the biblical poet-king.
abstract | screenings | speakers | summary | video

Cell Phone Culture
Thursday, November 17, 2005
An examination of the cell phone as a technological object and as a cultural form whose uses and meaning are increasingly various.
abstract | speakers | summary | article

Spinners and Bloggers: Political Communications in the Digital Age
Thursday, October 20, 2005
The interplay between spin and blogs and how each shape public opinion.
abstract | speakers | summary

Is Popular Culture Good for You?
Thursday, October 6, 2005
What standards should be used to evaluate contemporary popular culture?
abstract | speakers | summary

The Future of the Digital Commons
Thursday, September 22, 2005
A look at arguments and legal confrontations over the control of music, writing and visual materials in the digital age.
abstract | speakers | summary | video

Branding the Urban Landscape
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Examination of new forms of branding and marketing.
abstract | speakers | summary

What's New at the MIT Media Lab?: Technologies for the Young and the Restless
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Two of the Lab's leading researchers reporrt on recent work.
abstract | speakers | summary

Election 2004 and Beyond: Did the Media Fail?
Thursday, February 17, 2005
Report card on the media and the 2004 presidential election.
abstract | speakers | summary | video

Copyright Wars
Thursday, November 18, 2004
A continuing conversation about copyright in the digital age.
abstract | speakers | summary

New Roles for Established Media?
Thursday, October 28, 2004
The evolving roles of traditional media in the presidential election.
abstract | speakers | summary | video

Media Literacy: Learning and Understanding in the Information Age
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Educators discuss how to evaluate media environments.
abstract | speakers

New Media, Old Politics?
Thursday, October 14, 2004
The impact of the Internet on the presidential election.
abstract | speakers | summary

MIT OpenCourseWare: A Status Report
Thursday, Sept. 23, 2004
An update of MIT's OpenCourseWare initiative.
abstract | speakers | summary

Movies in the Digital Age
Thursday, April 8, 2004
Jack Valenti discusses entertainment and digital piracy.
abstract | speaker | summary

Changing Media, Changing Audiences
Thursday, April 1, 2004
MTV Networks executive on changing television audiences
abstract | speaker | summary

The Emerging Mediascape
Thursday, March 18, 2004
Digital media's impact on journalism.
abstract | speakers | summary | video

Interactive Television
Thursday, March 11, 2004
Industry insiders explore innovations to the television interface.
abstract | speakers | summary

Writing and Producing in Prime Time
Thursday, Feb. 15, 2004
Writer and producer John Romano (American Dreams, Hill Street Blues, Third Watch) returns to talk about crafting prime-time television.
abstract | summary

E-topia/ Designing Cambridge: How Well Does Media Serve Cambridge Citizens?
Saturday, Nov. 22, 2003
Part of two-day event in which critics, policymakers and media practitioners discuss and debate the civic uses of communications technologies.
abstract | speakers | summary

E-topia/ Designing Cambridge: How Can Information Technologies Serve Cambridge?
Saturday, Nov. 22, 2003
Part of two-day event in which critics, policymakers and media practitioners discuss and debate the civic uses of communications technologies.
abstract | speakers | summary

E-topia/ Designing Cambridge: 21st-Century Communications for our Community
Friday, Nov. 21, 2003
Begins two-day event in which critics, policymakers and media practitioners discuss and debate the civic uses of communications technologies.
abstract | speakers | summary

Covering Iraq: American Media vs. the World?
Thursday, Nov. 13, 2003
Critics grade America's mainstream media in comparison with media from around the world.
abstract | speakers | summary

Are National Television Systems Obsolete?
Thursday, Oct. 30, 2003
Media scholars Elihu Katz, James Carey and William Uricchio discuss television in the 21st century.
abstract | speakers | summary

Pinker's Farewell
Thursday, Sept. 25, 2003
Legendary professor and author Steven Pinker reflects on his research on language, cognition and creativity and on his career as one of MIT's most admired teachers.
abstract | speakers | summary | webcast

Demographic Vistas
Thursday, April 17, 2003
The concluding Forum in a series covering prime-time television examines audience measurement in a period of technological convergence.
abstract | speakers | summary

Writing and Producing in Prime Time
Thursday, April 3, 2003
The second in a series of Forums about prime time television features John Romano, a writer and producer of over a dozen prime time television shows including Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, Knott's Landing, Party of Five, Third Watch and American Dreams.
abstract | speaker | summary | audiocast

Is TV Drama Obsolete?
Thursday, Feb. 27, 2003
This ongoing series of Forums on prime time television will feature some leading TV scholars and media professionals. Their assignment: To help us understand the forces shaping contemporary prime time by looking in part to television's past.
abstract | speakers | summary

Culture Talk on Public Radio
Thursday, Nov. 14, 2002
A significant strand of broadcasting over public radio centers on the world of what many call "culture" -- the realm of the arts, literature, music, intellectual conversation about books and ideas. How large is the current audience for this sort of programming? In what ways does such programming differ from that of earlier eras? How important to our society is this sort of program?
abstract | speakers | summary | audiocast

Copyright and Culture
Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2002
This concluding Forum in our series on copyright will focus on the ways in which copyright law affects individual artists and the intellectual life of the community at large.
abstract | speakers | summary | audiocast

America at War? A Conversation with Helen Thomas
Monday, Nov. 4, 2002
Long-time White House correspondent Helen Thomas discusses the role of the media during times of crisis.
abstract | speakers | webcast

Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution
Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2002
Howard Rheingold discusses his latest book, Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution. Co-sponsored with authors@mit.
abstract | speaker

Thursday, Oct. 3, 2002
In this second of three linked forums, we will examine notions of copyright and ownership as they are evolving in the market place, among corporations, producers, and artists, and will speculate on the broader cultural implications of the new forms of creativity but also of control latent in digital technologies.
abstract | speakers | summary

Who Owns Research and Teaching?
Thursday, Sept. 19, 2002
This fall the MIT Communications Forum will sponsor three linked conversations about changing notions of ownership, markets, invention and property. The first will center on universities and on contested or emerging views of research and teaching. Who “owns” scientific data bases? Should research results be private and for sale? Are current definitions and emerging ground rules for patents comparable to recent changes in copyright law? Topics will include MIT initiatives in Open Course Ware and other non-commercial projects.
abstract | speakers | summary

World Media and Monopolies
Thursday, May 9, 2002
This Forum will focus on the consolidation of media ownership in the U.S. and elsewhere and how it affects the format and content of news and entertainment. We will explore the implications of this trend toward monopoly control of media distribution and access as a prelude to the Media in Transition 2 international conference on globalization and convergence, May 10-12.
abstract | speakers | summary

Alternative Media
Thursday, April 25, 2002
Emerging digital technologies have created new global audiences for local and alternative media. This Forum will offer a status report on the current condition and future prospects of alternative media, with special emphasis on non-commercial radio. How are independent media creators adapting to new technologies and to changes in the way consumers use media?
abstract | speakers

Religion and the Internet

Thrusday, April 18, 2002
In this forum, we bring together three experts actively involved in understanding how people are using the Internet for religious purposes.
abstract | speakers | summary

Humor on the Web
Thursday, April 4, 2002
In this forum, we will examine two of the most successful online humor magazines, The Onion and Modern Humorist, and explore how humor is evolving in a digital culture.
abstract | speakers | summary

Transformations of the Book
Thursday, March 7, 2002
How are new technologies transforming publishing and the culture of the book? What does the digital future promise for writers and for readers? What are the near- and longer-term implications of recent failures in the production and marketing of so-called e-books? This forum will address these and related questions about the fate of books in the digital age.
abstract | speakers | summary

Children's Culture and New Media
Thursday, February 21, 2002
This forum will discuss how new media products for children are conceived and
developed and will also consider the social and cultural implications of a digital
world in which children are media makers as well as consumers.
| speakers | summary

Trends in Advertising
Thursday, November 8, 2001
This panel brings together an advertising insider and a critic of the industry to discuss the current battle for consumer eyeballs and how Madison Avenue is responding to the changing media environment.
abstract | speakers | summary

Grassroots Coverage of Global Events
Thursday, November 1, 2001
This Forum will examine how grassroots documentary makers such as Paper Tiger Television and Big Noise Films are responding to the September 11 terrorist attacks and the war against terrorism, and what challenges they face in forming grassroots media organizations for covering international developments.
abstract | speakers

Teen Activism on the Web
Thursday, October 25, 2001
The democratic potential of new media depends in part on their capacity to empower groups that historically have had a limited voice in politics. Some American teenagers are now exploring the power of the Internet in imaginative ways. This Forum will combine scholarly perspectives on teen culture on the Web with front-line accounts by youth activists about how they have deployed the resources of new media.
abstract | speakers

Writing for TV: The State of the Art
Thursday, October 11, 2001
In this Forum, writer/producers for such innovative shows as The Sopranos, The West Wing and Party of Five will discuss the current state of television drama, the commercial realities and artistic possibilities of TV today and in the future.
abstract | speakers

Female Entrepreneurs and Cyberspace
Thursday, May 10, 2001
Women have been at the center of e-commerce, often working out of their homes and juggling child-care needs. In this forum leading female entrepreneurs talk about the challenges faced by today’s wired women.
abstract | speakers | summary

Copyright and Globalization in the Age of Computer Networks
Thursday, April 19, 2001
Copyright developed in the age of the printing press, and was designed to fit well with the system of centralized copying imposed by the printing press. But the copyright system does not fit well with computer networks, and only Draconian punishments can enforce it.
abstract | speakers | summary | transcript

Trademark Wars -- Corporations and Publics on the Web
Thursday, April 12, 2001
The struggle over control of trademarks embodies a larger struggle. a system of proprietary control, born in principles governed by advertising and mass marketing, is changing into something more dynamic. The Web confers new power on consumers, new forms of accountability on corporations.
abstract | speakers | summary | paper

The Digital Museum
Thursday, March 8, 2001
Are digital technologies allowing museums to reinvent themselves? This Forum will reflect on the ways in which museums are exploiting new technologies to transform both internal practices and communication with their varied audiences through marketing, access to collections, exhibitions, and public programs. What are the risks of these new ways of working? And what lies ahead for the digital museum?
abstract | speakers | summary

Journalism and Cyberspace
Thursday, November 30, 2000
A conversation about the current state of digital journalism. How have traditional newspapers been affected by the World Wide Web? How are new media being exploited by traditional newspapers? How are journals born on the Web differentiating themselves from their counterparts with roots in the print medium? What is known about the audiences for on-line newspapers? Is the content and even the mission of on-line journalism different from that of older media? What are the future prospects for journalism in cyberspace?
abstract | speakers | summary

New Media and the Elections
Thursday, October 19, 2000
This Forum will discuss the 2000 presidential election and the media. What are the underlying dynamics of the election, and how has the race unfolded? Who is likely to win and why? How have political communications -- through traditional media such as television and new media such as the Internet -- shaped the 2000 election? What innovations in electoral politics and political communications have come about through the Internet?
abstract | speakers | summary

Public Intellectuals: the Cyberspace Generation
Thursday, September 21, 2000
A new generation of public intellectuals has emerged, at home with digital media, engaged in cultural and political debates central to the new communities of cyberspace. These new public intellectuals found their voices in the zines that appeared in the 1970s and 1980s, expressing the values of various subcultural communities. These new intellectuals have created Webzines such as Slashdot and Bad Subjects, which reach a global audience and enable immediate responses to political and cultural issues.
| speakers | summary

The Digital Library
Thursday, April 20, 2000
How are digital technologies affecting the traditional work of libraries? How will these technologies transform libraries in the future? Join this distinguished panel for a discussion of the central issues confronting libraries in the digital age.
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Youth in a Digital Era
Thursday, March 2, 2000
The "moral panic" that surrounded the shootings in Littleton, Colorado sparked dramatic responses from the on-line community. Jon Katz's "Voices from the Hellmouth" series on became the focal point for teenagers to respond to the crackdown on cultural diversity in the schools. Katz and Jenkins will have a conversation about American politics, teen culture, the education system, and the power of the internet.
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"Real Artists Don't Go to MIT"
Thursday, February 24, 2000
John Maeda will discuss some issues about art at MIT in the context of his personal work as well as the work performed at the Media Lab Aesthetics and Computation Group. Central to the discussion will be an attempt to discover pathways for MIT students to realize their destiny as humanist technologists.
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The Public Intellectual
Thursday, December 2, 1999
This forum aims to explore the ways in which academic ideas have been disseminated to the public in recent years and how (or whether) this has changed the professional priorities and research of scholars.
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Imaging Science and Technology
Thursday, September 23, 1999
Felice Frankel
, an artist in residence at MIT and a pioneering photographer of scientific and technological phenomena, delivered an illustrated lecture about the power of images in communicating science and technology. Boyce Rensberger, Director of the Knight Science Journalism Fellowships program at MIT, served as respondent.

Stealth Bombers: Invisible Information?
Thursday, April 15, 1999
A cable television documentary described the development of the $2 billion B-2 bomber (and other stealth planes). Was the program adequate? What information does the American public get about such high tech weapons--or about scientific and technological information more generally? Robert Zalisk, the writer and co-producer of the program, screened his documentary and raised some disturbing questions about how his work was edited and "framed" by the cable channel that telecast it.
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The Dark Side of Information Technology
Monday, March 15, 1999
What impact will information technology have on world culture? Will it widen the exisiting gap between the rich and the poor? This issue was addressed in a seminar organised by Sangam, the MIT-Indian Students' Association and co-sponsored by the Media in Transition Project and MIT Communications Forum.
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Beyond the Ivory Tower: Academic Discourse in the Age of Popular Media
Thursday, February 18, 1999
This forum examined the role of the "public intellectual," considered the ways in which academic ideas have been disseminated to the public and asked how (or whether) so-called "popular science" has changed professional priorities and research.
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Journalism and Cyberspace
Thursdays, November 5, 12, 1998
How has American journalism been affected by digital technologies? What new skills and new knowledge are needed by reporters and editors assigned to cover the "cyber-beat"? How have traditional newspaper formats been altered, challenged, enhanced by the World Wide Web? Do the Web and other aspects of the digital future threaten the very existence of newspapers in the long term?
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Hypertext in Historical Context: Vannevar Bush and Ted Nelson Revisited
Thursday, October 1, 1998
This forum used video clips from Ted Nelson's lecture at a 1995 symposium in honor of Vannevar Bush to illustrate how hypertext evolved from conceptualizations rooted in older media toward the reality of today's World Wide Web. A discussion following the screening considered factors that have constrained current implementations of hypertext. 
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The Aesthetics of Transition - Three Lectures: The Cinema and Other Media at the Turn of the Century
Tuesday - Thursday, February 24-26, 1998
Film historian Tom Gunning reported on his latest reseach on early movies and other media technologies. 
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Race and Cyberspace
Thursday, April 23, 1998
This day-long symposium examined the ways in which digital media may be shaping our notions of  race.   
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The following forums were held under the auspices of the Communications Forum from 1995 to 1996.

From Resistance to Commerce: Media and Popular Culture in Post-Communist Russia
April 25, 1996

Interactive Democracy? The WWW and Campaign '96
April 11, 1996

Privacy and Surveillance in Cyberspace
April 4, 1996

Protecting Children/Protecting Intellectual Freedom On-Line
March 21, 1996

The Cyberbook: Books and Cyberspace
February 29, 1996

Digital Money: Business and the Information Economy
February 15, 1996

Squawk Talk: Call-In Talk Shows and American Culture
December 7, 1995
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